Truly a leader for all races

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KUCHING: When Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg declared that he was the chief minister of all races, he proved it by setting up his new State Cabinet based on his political stance.

The new Sarawak Cabinet under his new political party, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), was specially designed to take into consideration the composition and  interests of the various races and ethnicities in the state. 

He reportedly said it took him 12 days, double the time taken by former chief minister, the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, to form his new government.

He said he wanted it to be thorough in all aspects because it concerned the government’s direction in the new economy to lead Sarawak towards 2030.

“The Cabinet is not static and will change from time to time to suit the situation at any one time.

“With the new future and new directions, for sure there will be alignments (in the Cabinet). We will align it with what we’re doing. We must look at the inclusivity,” he stressed.

However, Abang Johari added that what was important was that the new government must fulfill all its promises to the people of Sarawak.

In this context, he urged his new Cabinet members not to be arrogant with the 76 seats the GPS had won in the recent 12th state eection because he fully acknowledged that it would not be easy to defend all 76 seats in future elections.

His deputy, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas acknowledged this when he spoke at the opening of the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) special convention on Sept 27, 2020.

“CM has proven to be a leader for all races in Sarawak by highlighting inclusivity and fairness in his administration.

The establishment of the Unit for other Religions (Uniform) in 2017 was a good example, added Uggah.

“Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari is a leader for all people, a leader for all races in Sarawak,” he said. 

Similarly, Abang Johari, in his new Cabinet, also honoured the Chinese community in Sarawak by appointing the president of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian as one of his three deputies besides Uggah and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan.

Dr Sim was also appointed Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government.

Abang Johari explained that the foundation of his new Cabinet line-up was based on the post COVID 19 Development Strategy 2030 that would  develop Sarawak into a high income economy by the year 2030.

“The GPS government will execute policies towards digital era, sustainable development, decarbonisation and new economy to ensure economic prosperity, social inclusivity and environmental sustainability and all these will be driven by data,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the development and inclusivity of Chinese schools in Sarawak, the state government had also spent millions of ringgit towards this end.

On September 25 last year, RM1.3 million was allocated by the state government to SJK (C) Chung Hua Batu 41/2 for the construction of its new four-storey classroom block. This was in addition to the RM1.5 million allocated to the school previously for the same development purposes.

 Dr  Sim, who is also head of the Special Unit for Aided Chinese Schools, said the funding was part of the RM10 million which was allocated by the Sarawak government to assist Chinese primary schools.

Based on its survey in 2020, the unit’s committee member, Jonathan Chai said of the 223 Chinese primary schools in Sarawak, 186 were aided schools.

He added these were the schools that the committee was trying to help to alleviate their financial burdens. 

“These schools  usually need to  extend their buildings for additional classrooms,”Chai said.

Hence, suffice to say, Abang Johari is, indeed, reaching to all the races in the state by means of inclusivity that is strongly stamped in his style of leadership. 

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